Thursday, February 26, 2009

Protesting in India

India has been the homeground to a number of unique methods of protesting. 
Of course, the traditional protests of burning effigies, walk-outs, sit-outs, stand-ins still continues, but over the course of time new methods have evolved.

Gandhiji started it with his Satyagrahas, Salt March and hunger fasts.

Hunger fasts have been transformed from an event where one individual fasts until his demands have been met or he has died to a relay fast where protesting members take turns in fasting for a few hours. 

Every year, Valentine's Day is a struggle between right wing nut cases trying to teach "Indian culture" to the masses and a bunch of people trying to out-West the West in Public Displays of Affection. This year's struggle resulted  in the the Consortium of Pub-going, Loose and Forward Women sending pink underwears to a right-wing group which was against Public Displays of Affection.

Now, the Kannada Chalavali Vatal Paksha president, has challenged the Governor, Chief Minister, Chief Justice of Karnataka High Court and Chief Secretary to find public toilets to relieve themselves between their offices and the Lalbagh. He also said that he would continue his unique protest of “urinating” in front of residences of dignitaries to draw the attention of State Government to build sufficient number of public toilets. 

The challenge that today's protestor faces is to come up with a unique method of protesting that inconveniences the most number of people for the maximum amount of time and gains the most press coverage. Burning buses and stoning trains is pass'e. What's an innovative protestor to do ?